Chimpanzee tracking is among the most sought after adventure activities done on Uganda safaris. In fact, it is the second most popular adventure activity after gorilla tracking. Like gorilla watching, the activity of chimpanzee tracking was develped following guidelines that are aimed at controlling mass tourism. There are set rules for chimpanzee watching and regulations are provided to advise the travelers about the experience of chimpanzee tracking or habituation while tracking in the forest. These rules were set to protect the endangered chimpanzees also the visitors being the major key point to follow while in their nature habitat in the tropical rain forest and it’s the reason why habituation chimpanzees need to go through 2 to 3 years under a training process in order to get used to human sights to their nature inhabits and do not scamper away during your visit.
Below are the Key rules and regulations followed while on chimpanzee tracking
Chimpanzee tracking rules and regulations; The minimum age allowed to participate in half or whole day habituated experience is 15 years above, in Uganda’s Kibale Forest national park and Budongo forest in Murchison Falls national park. In Kalinzu forest the minimum age is 12 years old. However, the age limit is administered by the ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority.
- Visitors are requested to keep a distance of at least 7 to 8 meters away from chimpanzees
- Don’t provoke our dear chimpanzees leave them in their freedom
- Don’t smoke in the forest while tracking chimpanzees.
- Sick visitors are allowed to track chimps, ill from cold, diarrhea, flu, malaria can be easily infected by them since share 98% DNA to humans.
- If you feel like easing, you should ask a guide to make you a hole off the trail and after bury your waste at least 30 cent kilometers deep with tissue used.
- Visitors should try to lower on your voice while in the forest
- There is a limited number of 8 people allowed to track
- Always stay in the group when you meet these apes in their nature environment and too much noise not allowed.
- This experience can take 2 to 8 hours depending on their previous movements.
- Always be attentive on guide’s instructions
- Trackers are allowed only one to observe these creatures in the wilderness
In general Uganda is a gifted country to host the most top primitive destination in East Africa, harboring more than 5,000 individual’s chimpanzees.
CAN EVERYONE PARTICIPATE IN CHIMPANZEE TREKKING IN UGANDA?
Not everyone can participate in primate safaris in Uganda. You must be aged 15 or over and in good physical and mental condition. To maintain the health (and safety) of the chimpanzee, you are not allowed to join the activity if you are sick, because chimpanzees are susceptible to many of the viruses that affect humans. There is also a limited amount of people that can visit the chimps and the time to be near them is also limited. Tracking groups are then split into six people, seven including the ranger.
Conclusion, Chimpanzee tracking is quite interesting and memorable experience in life time as you meeting with your closely related cousins in their protected nature habitats of Kibale forest. This activity acts two or more experience, through giving you a chance to watch other species found in the forest during your tracking time such wild species to see include; small primates like black and white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons, Red monkeys, Green vegetation, notable bird species, beautiful butterflies, tree species.